When Jefferson Airplane sang "White Rabbit," they were musing over the power of some fungi to make changes in your consciousness.
"When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go, and you've just had some kind of mushroom and your mind is moving low, go ask Alice, I think she'll know."
But while psilocybin mushrooms can turn your mind to mush, white button mushrooms turn out to have transformative powers that are positive and far-reaching.
Researchers from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have discovered that these most common of edible fungi (they're not as exotic as shiitake, cremini, portobello, oyster, chanterelles, or reishi) are powerful prebiotics that can help prevent runaway blood sugar.
The way they do that, explained in a study published in the Journal of Functional Foods, is as circuitous as Alice's journey through Wonderland.
It turns out that after they’re eaten the mushrooms are fermented by good gut bacteria in the large intestine, producing more short-chain fatty acids.
These heart-loving, inflammation-dampening short-chain fatty acids are then able to change genes along a gut-brain pathway so that production of glucose is more effectively managed.
And all it takes is about 3 ounces (one serving) a day to get that benefit.
So slice and saute mushrooms them with spinach and garlic, put them into soups and stews, or broil them with fish or skinless chicken.
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